Monday, April 23, 2012

Five for Five: Three years

This is part of Momalom's Five for Five series, where a group of bloggers write about the same five topics in five days. This post responds to the first topic, Change.



Time: April 2009
Family Status: One guy, one baby
Work Status: Full time, outside the home

The alarm sounds. I hit snooze for the third time at 5:30 and eventually make my way to the shower, where I spend too long trying to shake the lethargy from my body. The cats watch me while I dress for work, and I shut the door behind me quietly as I leave the sleeping six-month-old Little Miss and her dad behind. The only sounds I hear are my footsteps on the sidewalk and the occasional car that passes me on the still-slumbering street as I make my way to work downtown.

This would be my weekday morning routine for the next two years, where I would only see my daughter for the first time at five in the evening every day. Until I went on maternity leave when her sister, Thumper, was born.

Time: April 2012
Family Status: Same guy, two babies
Work Status: Full time mom with occasional freelancing at home


“Baah!” the voice jars me awake. I take a peek and see two twinkling eyes peering back at me, chubby fingers perched on the crib rail. She’s awake.

I roll back over, hoping she won’t notice me if I play dead. “Baah!!!”

Ugh. I glance at the clock and groan even louder. 6:35.

For someone who doesn’t even contemplate going to bed until midnight, the morning comes way too soon. We’re nocturnal, and she’s not. That’s a problem.

I look over at My Guy, and of course he doesn’t even stir. The baby gets more anxious, and I surrender to her in my sleep-soaked state, bringing her into bed with us where she proceeds to help herself to some morning sustenance, followed by exercise, like parent-vaulting and pull-ups with my hair.

I do my best to balance between preventing her from landing face first on the hardwood floor and ignoring her so I could snooze a little longer. Although really, who am I kidding?

Then I hear the thud of footsteps of a preschooler who has yet to master the skill of being dainty. She’s been instructed to stay in her room until she sees “7:” on her digital Yoda clock so she waits patiently outside our door, on the couch, amusing herself with her toy du jour until invited in.

It wasn’t always that way, but with a baby in the room who used to sleep until eight, we had to put a stop to the whole barging in and waking everyone up business. Because, from the moment she enters our room, the noise begins, and it sounds a lot like an orchestra played by untrained chimpanzees. Or wombats.

Please may I have my milk?
Can I climb in between you guys?
Hey, Thumper took my buddy!
I tooted! {giggle, giggle}
Why is daddy still sleeping?
I need to go potty.
Hey, Thumper is in my spot!
I don’t wanna go to school!
I’m hungry; I want “breckfixt”.
I smell something stinky.

And that’s when I roll over to My Guy, who either pretends not to hear any of this or sleeps through it all (that jerk), and I mumble something about a baby needing to be changed.

I hear an audible resignation, and he drags himself from our bed to the parental duties that await us. I follow behind shortly. We change and feed the girls, then ourselves, and I drop My Guy off at the train station for work before driving Little Miss to preschool. Thumper is a tag-along, who I hoist in and out of the car seat to maneuver around spritely creatures and narrow hallways to get Little Miss to her classroom.

By the time we’re back home, it’s a little past nine and the infant is ready for her first nap. I don’t blame her - I am too! The morning routine can get a little hairy, especially when negotiations with a three-year-old seem to happen at every other intake of breath.

I want the zebra shoes!  
How about the black ones? They’re more comfy for school.
But they’re my favorite dancing shoes!
You’re not going dancing.

When Thumper is down for her nap, the quiet sets in and that time belongs to me. And the all important cup of coffee.

* * *

A lot has changed in three years. I’ve traded strategy meetings and high heels for countless renditions of “If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands” and crushed Cheerios on the floor. Never in a million years would my 2009 self have foreseen this.

Now, after I leave my bed for the flurry of activities that follow, it takes about three hours for me to finally wake up and turn my focus to myself. 

But it took me three years to open my eyes and see that this is where I should’ve been all along.



image: Train by christopherous